Nigerian government has approved a budget of N24.20 billion to install broadband internet connections in no fewer than 20 airports, 43 schools, and six shopping centres across the country.
Professor Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, announced the development to State House reporters after this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the Minister, the six geopolitical zones, with an average of three airports from each zone, were used to choose the local and international airports.
Also, the six geopolitical zones are represented in the higher education institutions and markets that will benefit from the five-month experiment.
He said the broadband project would ensure connectivity in airports, ease e-learning in schools and ease mobile transactions in markets as the nation tends toward a cashless economy.
The Minister also stated that the Nigeria Communications Commission is the implementing institution.
He said: “In these two memos, certain intervention projects, are going to be implemented by the federal government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Communications Commission of providing Internet in 20 selected airports in Nigeria and higher institutions of learning and also some markets to support micro small and medium enterprises.
“In each geopolitical zone, you have around three airports. In the southwest, we have Lagos and Ondo. For the South-East, we have Anambra and Enugu.
“For the South-South, we have Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom. For the North-Central we have Abuja and Ilorin. In the North-West, we have Kano, Sokoto and Kebbi. For the North-East, we have Yola, Maiduguri and Gombe.”
According to the Minister, the broadband plan also includes “43 higher educational institutions at the federal and state levels.”
They consist of polytechnics as well as public and private universities.
In 2022, the council approved a similar memo for the provision of unlimited internet in 17 universities and one college of education. The new approval follows that one.
Pantami added: “So this one is the second phase of the project. And in the first memo approved today, we have 20 airports, both domestic and international.
“And in addition, we also have 43 institutions of learning. So in total, 63 institutions are going to benefit and the price for this is N18.95bn.
“The second memo is for the provision of broadband to selected markets…six markets are going to benefit from this and the price is N5.25bn.”
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